Last week I received a press release about a new study on parental skanktoy fatigue:
...an overwhelming majority of mothers believe that many dolls available for young girls today are too provocative. The research says these mothers would like to see more wholesome, age-appropriate characters and role models for their daughters.The study went on to conclude, "mom mom mom mom mom mom mom mom mom mom mom mom.
The Synovate survey commissioned by AG Properties [ed: as in the licensing arm of "American Greetings," which handles such toy brands as the Care Bears, Holly Hobbie, and Strawberry Shortcake] shows that: 90 percent of moms believe there are not enough wholesome role models, celebrities, characters and brands for young girls to emulate; Over 80 percent of moms think there are too many dolls available for young girls today that are inappropriate because they are too provocative and/or over-sexualized.
Eighty-three percent of moms believe that these types of dolls negatively influence young girls, and 88 percent worry that young girls want to emulate the look and style of these “inappropriate” types of dolls. Meanwhile, 9 out of 10 moms wish there was a wider selection of dolls that were positive role models for young girls.
“According to these survey results, the majority of mothers are discontented with the proliferation of dolls lacking wholesomeness and other positive values,” said Dr. Jim Forrest, Vice President of Consumer and Business Insights at Synovate. “The research shows a significant concern among mothers that girls are over-saturated with images of negative role models. Nine out of 10 mothers believe that there are not enough wholesome role models for girls to emulate.”
This belief among moms is reinforced by what they see today in the toy aisle. An astounding 85 percent of mothers surveyed are “tired of the ‘sexpot’ dolls/characters” currently available...
Now, I've hated on some Pussycat Doll dolls in my day, and I'm not averse to covering a toy industry press release smackdown, provided it's entertaining [Holly Hobbie is by Mattel, whose unnamed flagship doll, Barbie, is also getting hammered by Bratz. The Pussycat Dolls were to be from Hasbro.]
But enough with the mom monopoly on moral outrage. So I contacted the publicists, and asked for a bit of constructive explanation as to why they surveyed only moms, and not dads--or maybe, you know, parents. Here's Tamra Seldin-Knepfer, SVP of Consumer Products for AG Properties' response:
Statistically speaking, mothers make the majority of shopping and toy purchasing decisions for children, which is why we selected them as the sample group for this survey. However, we think that all parents most likely feel the same way about wanting more wholesome, age-appropriate characters and role models for their daughters.By "all parents," I'm pretty sure she means "all parents who love their children during the Holiday shopping season, which, incidentally, began Sept. 19th, when Mattel's Fisher-Price division unveiled it the amazing 10th anniversary edition of Tickle--" OK, you.